Making Sense of America: U.S. Since 1945

Subject 131-120 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 1 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Two 1-hour lectures and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: 8 hours per week
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Dr Barbara Jean Keys


Ara Keys


Subject Overview: Understanding the United States today requires an understanding of the country’s historical trajectory. By examining U.S. politics, culture, society and foreign policy since the end of World War II, we aim to understand how things came to be the way they are today. Topics include the pervasive impact of the Cold War; the civil rights, antiwar and women’s liberation movements; the growth of presidential power; the rise of the religious right; the Clinton years; and 9-11 and the ‘global war on terror.’
Objectives: Students who successfully complete this subject should...
  • a basic understanding of key developments in U.S. history;
  • an understanding of important factors that have shaped the contemporary United States
Assessment: A source analysis, 500 words 10% (due in first half of semester), a short document-based essay, 1500 words 30%)(due at mid-semester) and a research essay, 2000 words 50% (due at end of semester). Tutorial participation 10%. Hurdle requirement: students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to be pass this subject. Prerequisites
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available at the beginning of semester

William Chafe, The Unfinished Journey

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills: Students who successfully complete this subject should
  • demonstrate research skills through competent use of the library and other information sources;
  • show critical thinking and analysis through recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument;
  • demonstrate understanding of social, ethical and cultural contexts through the contextualisation of judgements, developing a critical self-awareness, being open to new ideas and possibilities and by constructing an argument.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History
History Major

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